12th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
Matthan Tharakan, 13, is a passionate tennis player and devotes up to four hours every day to learning tennis. He was ranked No. 2 in the Missouri Valley region in the Boys’ 12 Singles category not very long ago. The “tennis ball chair” that Matthan is sitting in was made by his mother. Matthan is also musically gifted and plays a variety of instruments.
Dr. Ajit Tharakan, Matthan's father, is currently the chief of the division of cardiothoracic surgery at the University Hospital, Columbia, Missouri. He has been serving in this position since 2009, having done his residency in general surgery from 2003 to 2006. He is married to Rinu Tharakan.
The Tharakans came to Columbia in 2003 and then left for Boston in 2006 for three years after Mr. Tharakan got a fellowship from the Massachusetts General Hospital in thoracic surgery. Both Mr. Tharakan and Ms. Tharakan come from wealthy families and the reason they came to the United States was primarily for Mr. Tharakan's higher education. Ms. Tharakan, despite having a degree in medicine, made the decision to be a stay-at-home mother in order to better look after her children, Matthan Tharakan and Anna Tharakan, 12.
The Tharakans' long-term goals are to improve healthcare and its delivery in developing countries.
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||Nov. 28, 2014, 8:59 a.m.
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